Wreathes, personal notes and flowers adorn the fence outside the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles on Tuesday after much of the playground was destroyed by fire last week. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Wreathes, personal notes and flowers adorn the fence outside the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles on Tuesday after much of the playground was destroyed by fire last week. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Rebuilding Port Angeles’ Dream Playground could start as early as this summer

As donations pour in, supplies, availability will remain hurdles

PORT ANGELES — Donations to replace the recently destroyed Dream Playground are pouring in, and if all goes well, a replacement can be finished in 2024.

“We’re optimistic that we can get going on it this summer,” said Steve Methner, president of the Dream Playground Foundation, on Tuesday.

Methner couldn’t say exactly how much money had been donated since the playground was burned to the ground last Wednesday but estimated there to be between $80,000 and $90,000 already.

Wilder Auto Center and Molina Healthcare of Washington each donated $10,000 to the project, and Methner said there was another large donation from an anonymous donor. Methner declined to say how much the anonymous donation was — citing the donor’s privacy — but said the amount was “definitely enough to bring tears to your eyes.”

Methner said how quickly the playground can be reconstructed depends on how long it takes to remove any destroyed material from the site but also supply chain issues and contractor availability.

The architect who helped design the playground feels it’s realistic to begin work in 2024 if all the variables line up.

“I want to expect the best and prepare for the worst,” Methner said. “We do feel like we could get it done like we did the first time with a week-long community build.”

The original Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield on Race Street was opened in 2002 and was one of the largest volunteer projects in Clallam County history. The playground was refurbished in 2021 as the Generation II Dream Playground through another outpouring of community donations and volunteer hours.

The playground was almost entirely destroyed last week by a fire in the early morning hours. Police arrested a minor in connection with the fire, which is being treated as arson.

Donations to the playground can be made at padreamplayground.org.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

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